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Black Lives Matter puts Sir Thomas Picton in his place

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THE NATIONAL Museum of Wales has re-hung a portrait of Pembrokeshire-born Sir Thomas Picton as part of an exhibition that reframes his place in history.

Following the UK Black Lives Matter protests, the Museum removed the former Governor of Trinidad’s picture from public display.#It now returns as part of an exhibition that provides additional information and context about Picton’s legacy as Governor of Trinidad at the turn of the 19th century.
The contextual information now includes his brutal treatment of the people of Trinidad, including the torture of 14-year-old Luisa Calderon – information which was not part of the Museum’s previous interpretation of the portrait.

The project team looked at objects across Amgueddfa Cymru’s collections to reinterpret the narrative around Picton.

Objects included in the interpretation included:

  • A newly acquired transcript of the trial of Picton in London in 1806.
  • Anti-slavery medals, produced to support the late 18th-century anti-slavery movement in Great Britain.
  • A medal from the 1819 Eisteddfod, won by Walter Davies in 1819 for an ode to Picton.

The Reframing Picton project team said: “For generations, even up to recent years, saying “Black Lives Matter” has been controversial.
“In the time we worked on this project, we made a point to expose – not erase – history, and it was essential that we directly involved people connected to Trinidad, where Picton entrenched his reputation for barbarism during his tenure as Governor.
“One of our goals for this exhibition was to create a site of conscience rather than indoctrination. To create healthy ways of addressing trauma. To create a dialogue between museums, the governments that fund them and the communities they serve.
“We hope that this exhibition will encourage visitors of all backgrounds to listen and learn from the past, and to put these learnings into practice today.”

The commissions follow a callout by Amgueddfa Cymru in January 2021 for artists to explore alternatives to the colonial narrative represented by the portrait of Lieutenant-General Sir Thomas Picton and to centre on Black experiences.
The new artworks by Gesiye and Laku Neg explore narratives of ancestry, healing, transformation and empowerment. They challenge the colonial narratives traditionally existing in National Museum Cardiff’s galleries by centring on Black consciousness, experiences, and voices.

Dr Kath Davies, Director of Collections and Research at Amgueddfa Cymru, said: “This project is the culmination of such positive working between Amgueddfa Cymru and the Sub Sahara Advisory Panel’s Youth Leadership Network and the Amgueddfa Cymru Producers.
“It highlights the importance and the positive outcomes that result from working together and listening to one another.
“We are very grateful to the young people of the SSAP’s Youth Network for their time in working with us at the Museum. We’re very proud of the artworks that have now entered the national collection.
“We thank the artists for working through a pandemic and across international borders. We hope that they spark conversations on representation and the many histories of Wales in a modern-day museum.”

Fadhili Maghiya, Director at the Sub Sahara Advisory Panel, said: “For the longest time, Picton has been celebrated in Wales. Now, for the first-time communities that were historically exploited and abused by the likes of Picton have a reason to celebrate
“There might be misconceptions that Amgueddfa Cymru – Museum Wales and the Sub-Sahara Advisory Panel’s Youth Network seek to rewrite history with this project.
“However, that is far from the truth.
“Reframing Picton aims to rewrite our future by challenging the way we engage with history. The project enables us to widen the spotlight that has for many years hidden the darkness of Picton in all its full and truthful context.”

Minister for Social Justice Jane Hutt said: “We’ve made it clear that we are committed to creating an anti-racist Wales by 2030, but to achieve this objective, we must all think about who we commemorate and how we do so.
“Amgueddfa Cymru has worked with many stakeholders to update its interpretation of Picton.
“Projects like this, demonstrate how important it is to understand our past, this isn’t about rewriting history, it’s about highlighting the context and taking a more holistic view of our past.”

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Appeal following thefts from outbuildings and unattended vehicles

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE investigating a series of thefts that have been reported in the Pembrokeshire village of Spittal overnight.

People in the area near Haverfordwest have reported thefts from unattended motor vehicles, garden sheds and garages.

Officers this morning arrested a 38-year-old man from outside the force area on suspicion of theft. He remains in police custody at this time.

We would like to appeal to the residents of the area to check their vehicles and outbuildings to ensure they have not been the subject of a theft.

We would also like to hear from anybody who may have CCTV or doorbell footage of any suspicious activity overnight.

Sgt Paul Boorman said: “Officers are investigating the matter and we have someone in custody.

“We would now like people to check if they have also had anything stolen.

“Now is a good time to remind people of the importance of securing outbuildings and to make sure that vehicles are locked.”

Anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Sgt Boorman, either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.police.uk, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.

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Farming

Pembrokeshire Politicians Tuck into a Farmers Breakfast

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PEMBROKESHIRE Senedd Members Paul Davies and Samuel Kurtz joined local farmers and farming representatives for a breakfast to celebrate the Farmers Union of Wales (FUW)’s Farmhouse Breakfast Week 2023. Mr Davies and Mr Kurtz attended the breakfast event in Crundale to champion the benefits of a healthy breakfast and meet with local farmers to discuss the challenges currently facing the sector.

Mr Davies said, “It’s always a pleasure to attend the annual Farmhouse Breakfast and this year was no exception. I’ve always proudly supported Pembrokeshire’s produce and today was another excellent showcase of what our local farmers have on offer. We had some very interesting discussions and I’ll certainly be doing all I can to push the Welsh Government to better support our farmers as its Agriculture Bill makes its way through the Senedd. I’d also like to encourage the people of Pembrokeshire to support Farmhouse Breakfast Week too by buying local produce and enjoying a healthy Pembrokeshire breakfast – there’s plenty of excellent produce on offer, please take advantage and help support our farmers.”

Samuel Kurtz MS, local Senedd Member for Carmarthen West & South Pembrokeshire, added:

“Farming is often an isolated industry, and so the FUW’s Farmhouse Breakfast morning in Crundale Hall presented the perfect opportunity to get everyone together, in one room, talking and socialising.

“From council farm tenants to fourth-generation cattle farmers, everyone was brought round the table to taste some fantastic locally sourced produce.

“It was great to be there supporting the FUW and the DPJ Foundation, a fantastic charity that operates across the country, supporting those in agriculture and rural communities with their mental health.”

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Wales v Ireland travel advice from Transport for Wales

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TRANSPORT FOR WALES is offering rugby supporters rail and bus services for Wales’ opening game of the Six Nations against Ireland on Saturday (4 February).

Following a successful introduction for last year’s Autumn international series, a number of return coaches will be operating to compliment a full rail timetable. They’ll be running from Llanelli, Abergavenny, Cwmbran, Caerphilly and Pontypridd with prices starting at just £6 return.

To book TfW return coaches visit Coach | Wales v Ireland | Transport for Wales (tfw.wales)

More than 25,000 rugby fans are also expected to travel in and out of Cardiff by rail on Saturday, and customers are being urged to plan their journeys in advance and check before they travel.

Adam Terry, Head of Planning at Transport for Wales said: “We look forward to welcoming tens of thousands of rugby supporters onto our services for the first of Wales’ two home fixtures in this year’s Six Nations.

“We will have every available train in use and will be strengthening services to and from Cardiff to provide as much capacity as possible.

“Peak time rail services before and after the match are likely to be very busy, so passengers are advised to make use of earlier and later trains, or book one of the TfW coaches to ensure you have a guaranteed seat to get to the game and home afterwards.

“A queuing system will be in place at Cardiff Central after the game and we’ll be working alongside the other train operators to get passengers home as quickly and as safely as possible.”

Passengers are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the queuing system before travelling to the game.

TfW coaches will drop off and depart from Tresillian Way in Cardiff city centre, a short walk from the Principality Stadium. Return coach tickets must be booked in advance and existing rail tickets are not valid for coach travel. Capacity is limited and tickets will be issued on first come, first served basis.

Rugby supporters travelling to the Welsh capital on Friday 3 February, the day before the Wales v Ireland match, should be aware of industrial action taking by train drivers at 15 other train operating companies.

TfW staff are not involved in the strikes, but its services are likely to be busier than normal because there will be no Great Western Railway, West Midlands Railways, Avanti, or CrossCountry services operating on the Friday.

Great Western Railway services will be operating as normal on Saturday 4 February and they will once again be utilising their electric trains to provide extra capacity on the South Wales mainline.

For more information about the industrial action on Wednesday 1 and Friday 3 of February should visit Train strikes | Rail strike dates and industrial action | TfW

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